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November 23 2014
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Bazaar and State in Iran: The Politics of the Tehran Marketplace


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Police close down more than two dozen Tehran cafes

- At least 26 cafes in Tehran have been shut down by police citing violations such as "the inappropriate hijab" of customers. The Shahrvand daily wrote on Saturday November 22 that this is an unprecedented wave of police action against Tehran cafes. - 11/22/14

Large crowds gather to mourn Iranian singer Pashaei

- Thousands of mourners gathered to bid farewell to the popular Iranian singer Morteza Pashaei, who passed away on Friday following a long battle with cancer. The Fararo website reports that thousands attended the deceased singer's funeral held at Vahdat Hall. - 11/17/14

Ziba Style: Curating The Most Unusual Locally Inspired Luxury Items From Around The World

- Introducing ZIBA Style, a curated online marketplace for locally inspired luxury goods from around the world-the most unique goods a traveler cannot find at home. Founder Yasmin Sanie-Hay, an M.I.T. graduate and Harvard Business School student, traversed 70 countries to source products for her new online venture that allows customers to buy directly from designers in faraway destinations such as Beirut, Bishkek, and Benin. - 11/14/14

Nesta Ramazani's Persian Cooking: A Table of Exotic Delights

- Persian Cooking is the mother of English language Persian cookbooks. For forty years, this book has been a staple in kitchens of those who enjoy the cooking of Iran. This fortieth anniversary edition is revised and updated to take into account present tastes; the better availability of ingredients; and modern cooking tools and methods. - 11/8/14

Documentary maker honoured for film on LGBTQ in Iran

- Farid Haerinejad's Out of Iran: Iran's Unwanted Sons and Daughters, a film sponsored by Radio Zamaneh, won the best documentary prize at the Noor Iranian Film Festival for 2014. The festival was held in October in Los Angeles, and the film can be viewed here on the Radio Zamaneh website. - 11/7/14

Iran: Over 350,000 marriages, 75,623 divorces registered in six months

- Statistics show 352,424 marriages were recorded nationwide during March 21-Sept 22, of which 298,487 and 53,937 pertain to urban and rural areas respectively. Over the same period, 75,623 divorces were recorded nationwide 69,353 and 6,270 of which pertain to urban and rural areas respectively. - 11/6/14

Iran's Culture Ministry Defends 'Successful' U.S. Presence

- Iran's Culture Ministry has defended the "successful presence" of an Iranian delegation in an October 28 conference in Pittsburgh that was reportedly also attended by State Department official Greg Sullivan. The conference, "Growing Business between the U.S. and the Middle East," was organized by the American Middle East Institute. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 11/4/14

A walled paradise: a history of Iranian gardening

- Iran was built on the vision of a garden that held every type of plant and flower and protected its habitants within its walls. Touraj Daryaee takes nostalgic look back at a 'paradise' many are now eager to escape -Guardian - 10/30/14

Video Asks Tehranis About Their Fears

- In a newly released video, Iranian artist Ali Molavi has asked a group of citizens in the Iranian capital what they're afraid of. One woman says her fear is the lack of status for women living in Iran. "Women in Iran have no value," the woman says. A man says he fears his wife, while another says that "war" is his greatest fear. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 10/29/14

Iranians protest rash of acid assaults on women

- Iranians took to the streets in Isfahan and Tehran to protest the recent incidents of acid throwing in Isfahan and demand that the authorities provide security for all citizens. In recent weeks in a number of incidents, women have been assaulted with acid, leaving at least one dead and many others struggling with serious burns to their hands and faces. - 10/23/14

Most art forms in Iran are illegal. Artists shirk the law by going underground

- Tehran is the seat where most of Iran's artistic community resides and hopes to one day thrive, despite the tremendous censorship restrictions regarding who can perform and under which circumstances. Navigating these restrictions has become an art form itself, while social media sites (at least those that are allowed) are continuously monitored. -Nicole Crowder, Washington Post - 10/17/14

Iranian Fathers and the Diverse Daughters They've Raised

- While living in Malaysia, Nafise Motlaq found the way people talked about her home country, Iran, disturbing. They seemed to lack a realistic vision of the country because they relied mostly on stereotypes. Inspired by this frustration and a trip home to visit her father, Motlaq, a senior lecturer at Universiti Putra Malaysia, decided to try and explore the father-daughter relationship in Iran using photography. -Jordan G. Teicher, Slate - 10/14/14

The Role of Women in the Future of Iran

- Washington, DC - "In some societies, laws protecting women are beyond the culture of the people. In Iran, it is the opposite," said Sanam Anderlini, Senior Fellow at MIT's Center for International Studies and co-founder of the International Civil Action Network, speaking on a panel regarding the role of women in Iran at NIAC's 2014 Leadership Conference. -Tyler Cullis - 10/10/14

Rich Kids of Tehran

- At first glance, browsing through Instagram photos, you'd not think much of it: selfies, house parties, luxury European cars, attractive guys and girls dressed to the nines. With a closer look, you might notice the occasional headscarf and the script on the license plates of cars. -Holly Dagres, Al-Monitor - 10/7/14

UNPFA envoy: 8.1 Percent of Iranians are 60+

- Dr. Hulki Uz, United Nations Population Funds (UNFPA) Representative in Iran, said people above 60 years old constitute 8.1% of the population and that growth rate of the population of the elderly is higher than other population groups. - 10/4/14

Iran as Progressive

- In 2007, when former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared during a Columbia University appearance, "In Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country," many chuckled. It seemed to verify the average person's preconceptions of the country as being primitive and socially backwards. -Holly Dagres, Souciant - 10/3/14

Private homes in Iran hold more gold than Central Bank

- The lack of a clear outlook on the Iranian economy has led Iranians to store large quantities of gold in their home, and recent reports indicate that the amount of gold stored in homes now exceeds the amount in the Central Bank. - 9/13/14

Xerxes Speaks: A Graphic Novel on Greco-Persian Wars, from Persian point of view

- "Xerxes Speaks" presents the battle of Thermopylae (the subject of the first "300" graphic novel and movie) from a Persian perspective; but it also delves deeper into Iran's first 200 years to analyze the causes and consequences of the empire's rapid expansion. It is well-researched, so I hope you find it educational as well as entertaining. -Ramin Abhari - 9/11/14

69 Percent Of Young Iranians Use Software To Get Around Internet Filtering: Survey

- Some 67.4 percent of Iranian young people (between the ages of 15-29) use the internet, according to a survey conducted by the Iranian Center for Research and Strategic Studies. 69.3% of Iranian young people reported using anti-internet filter software to be able to surf through blocked websites. - 9/9/14

Inside Iran's 'revolutionary' rap

- Over the last decade, underground Iranian rap has grown to become one of the most popular genres among youth. -Erin Neil, AlJazeera - 9/9/14

Senior Iranian Ayatollah Says High-Speed Mobile Internet Is Un-Islamic

- "un-Islamic" and violate "human and moral norms". Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi said Iranian authorities should introduce measures that would prevent access to the "negative features" of high-speed mobile Internet and 3G services before making them widely available. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 8/28/14

Iran holds conference on ancient philosopher Avicenna

- Iran has hosted a conference on the philosophy of the Islamic physician and philosopher Avicenna in the country's midwest city of Hamedan. Organized by the Avicenna Cultural and Scientific Foundation, the one-day conference was held to commemorate the ancient scientist Avicenna (Ibn Sinna) on Iran's National Physicians' Day, August 23. - 8/25/14

Tying the Knot in Today's Iran

- Over 11 million eligible Iranians are unmarried, according to official statistics. The government has repeatedly expressed concern over the low rate of marriage in the country over the past few years, and has encouraged single people to tie the knot. -Mehrnaz Samimi, Huffington Post - 8/21/14

Famed Iranian Poet Simin Behbahani Dies At 87

- Simin Behbahani, one of Iran's most prominent literary figures and a vocal human rights defender who was targeted with censorship and smear campaigns by Iranian authorities, has died in Tehran. She was 87. - 8/20/14

Legendary Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani passes away

- After being in coma state for almost 13 days, the legendary Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani passed away in Pars Hospital in Tehran in morning on August 19, 2014; she was 87. Being nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature, Simin Khalili, known as Simin Behbahani, was the daughter of Abbas Khalili who was himself a poet, author and the editor of 'Eghdam' Newspaper. - 8/19/14

Strong Quake Hits Western Iran, 250 Injured

- The number of people wounded in the 6.1-magnitude earthquake in Abdanan, in this western province, Monday morning has risen to 250, latest reports said. The strong tremor hit three western and southwestern provinces of Ilam, Lorestan and Khuzestan at 07:02 hours local time (0232 GMT) and was also felt in the neighboring provinces. - 8/18/14

Simin Behbahani, Iranian lady of ghazal, is breathing naturally

- Ali Behbahani, the son of Eminent Iranian poetess Simin Behbahani Simin Behabahani's, said that the level of her mother's consciousness has been increased and that she is currently breathing naturally. Simin Behabani has been nominated twice for the Nobel Prize in literature. - 8/18/14

Iran's divorce rate rises

- The head of Iran's Land and Document Registry says that in the past three months, there has been a four-percent increase in the rate of divorce compared to the same period last year. - 8/14/14

Strategic research center to formulate new plan for music in Iran

- The Center for Strategic Research (CSR) has been assigned the task of formulating a new plan to replace the Plan for Music in Iran, which was made by cultural officials under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. "There is a consensus among officials, experts and musicians that the present plan is unacceptable," Mohammadreza Fazeli said. "The experts say that proper professional supervision was not provided for formulating the plan," he added. - 8/13/14

An Experience: Photos of Iranian Women With And Without Veils

- Photographer Marziyeh Heydarzadeh has captured snapshots of Iranian women posing at a holly site with and without veils. A short paragraph published with "this experience" states that "hijab, in addition to being a cultural and religious value, indicates differences between those who want to preserve their dignity and those who easily overlook this." The story does not mention how the women felt after this experience, and if they left the site with or without the veil... - 8/6/14

Fertility Push Viewed as Unsexy by Young Iranians

- Skeptics wrinkle their brows at the Ayatollah's push for larger families and the government's efforts to restrict family planning and provide incentives for childbirth. Iran's youth want to be free, says a scholar of the Iranian women's movement. -Hajer Naili, WeNews - 8/5/14

Iran's first public detox clinic licensed in Tehran

- Iran's Health Ministry has issued a licence for the country's first public centre for alcohol detoxification, which will operate out of the Tehran University of Medical Sciences. A report released last year by the World Health Organization pegged Iran's alcohol consumption per consumer as the nineteenth highest in the world. - 8/4/14

Botox on the rise among Iranian men

- Majid Abhari, a sociologist and a favorite of the administration, has time and again discussed what he calls the new obsession of Iranian men with Botox, and interprets it as a mental complex in which men see themselves as ugly, and increasingly struggle to beautify themselves, while women, since they are veiled and covered, perceive themselves as beautiful and therefore have higher self-esteem. -Mehrnaz Samimi, Al-Monitor - 8/2/14

High heels and hijabs: Iran's sexual revolution

- For more than 30 years, the Islamic Republic has been obsessively battling against sex, but as with anything that is suppressed or banned, people have learned to sidestep the punitive regulations. -Ramita Navai, New Statesman - 8/2/14

'Fashion Police' Are Real In Iran, And They Just Shut Down A Famous Design Institute

- Technically they're called 'morality police,' but nonetheless, famous clothing design institute "Khaneh Mode" (Mode House) was shut down last week in Tehran for violating conservative Islamic rules. -Dina Hashem, The Gloss - 7/28/14

Let's display Iran's pacifism to the world through art and culture: President Rouhani

- President Hassan Rouhani has called on Iranian artists and literati to prove Iran's genuine belief in pacifism to the world by means of art and culture. Speaking during a meeting with Iranian artists and cultural figures on Friday evening in Tehran, he said, "Iranian people have always been against violence and extremism." - 7/26/14

Wave Of Forgiveness Washes Over Iran

- Last week alone, according to the reformist "Shargh" daily, nine individuals sentenced to death were pardoned by victims' families. Observers say a concerted publicity campaign is at play, but money is also a factor. Artists, television celebrities, and rights activists have been publicly calling on citizens to spare the lives of those sentenced to death and the media have been sympathetic in their coverage. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/22/14

Opening minds in Iran's closed society through Parinoush Saniee's best-seller

- The Book of Fate, one of Iran's best-selling novels ever despite being banned twice, had its paperback release this month. To mark the occasion, its author, 64-year-old Parinoush Saniee, spent a week promoting the book in Bulgaria, before flying to Heidelberg, Germany, to spend time with her two children and grandchild. -The National, UAE - 7/17/14

Iran's population grows in latest census report

- Iran's population has reached 78 million, with an increase of 333,669 people in the past six months. Iran's Census Bureau released the latest report on Tuesday July 15, saying: "70 percent of the population is now between the ages of 15 and 64, which is the age group considered working and active." - 7/16/14

Iran's washing up liquid protest

- A striking piece of graffiti in the heart of Iran's capital Tehran has been widely shared on social media. It shows a woman holding up a "World Cup" in the shape of a washing up liquid bottle. What does it mean and why has it struck a chord? -BBC - 7/15/14

TripAdvisor grants Certificate of Excellence to tomb of Persian Poet Hafez

- TripAdvisor, a U.S. travel website that provides directory information and reviews of travel-related content, has granted a Certificate of Excellence to the tomb of Hafez in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, Fars Province. - 7/12/14

Iran: 'flag' fashion show flops in Tehran

- A fashion show in Tehran has upset Iranian authorities by using variations of the national flag and pictures of animals in its designs, it's reported. -BBC - 7/9/14

Let Freedom Ring: U.Va. Professor Rediscovers Sacred Story Behind Jefferson Statue

- Jehovah. Allah. Brahma. Ra. Atma. Zeus. God. Names given by people across time and culture to represent a divine creator, a source of ultimate power and will. They've been used to inspire generations to connect with something greater than themselves, as well as to fuel centuries of holy wars, religious persecution and terrorism, excuses for death and division within a world of different belief systems. -Lauren Jones, University of Virginia - 7/4/14

Iran's Population Drive Could Outlaw Vasectomies

- Iran cannot force its citizens to have more children, but it could take away their ability to get their tubes tied. Acting on Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei's calls for Iran to reverse course and boost its population growth, parliament has passed a bill that would make vasectomies, tubectomies, and other surgical methods of sterilization punishable by two to five years in prison. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 7/2/14

Tattooing, a lucrative business in Iran

- Tattooing, risen to an unprecedented demand gaining a wide market in many countries across the world, has also become a top earning occupation in Iran. While tattooing is actually illegal, it is being offered overtly in all beauty salons and spas in all the major cities of the country. - 7/2/14

Iranian Youths Urged To Improve Competencies

- Unemployment is a major concern of young people in Iran, which compels more youths to remain single. Tuesday edition of the English language newspaper Iran Daily wrote that lack of responsibility and inadequate skills are also contributing to this issue, said an Iranian sociologist. - 7/1/14

Dollmaker to display works inspired by characters of Iranian folk tales

- Works by Bibi Haazer Omidvari, an 88-year-old self-taught Iranian doll maker, is on display in an exhibition at the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) in Tehran. Bibi Haazer, who lives in the southern Iranian city of Shiraz, creates her works based on characters from Iranian folk tales. - 7/1/14

For Iranian women, makeup speaks volumes

- Under the compulsory veil and despite hard times, Iranian women are unrestrained in showing off one feature on which they feel a need to spend money. Their faces. With a female population of more than 38 million, Iran is the second-largest cosmetics market in the Middle East in terms of revenue, behind Saudi Arabia, and the world's seventh biggest. - 6/24/14

Iran's complex Khuzestan region through the eyes of its children

- A schoolteacher provides a window on the lives of Arabs and other ethnic minorities in region known as the "birthplace of the nation" -Guardian - 6/24/14

Iranians celebrate strong performance at World Cup

- Iranian president congratulated Iran's National Soccer team for their excellent performance at the FIFA World Cup, and reports from Iran indicate that Iranians took to the streets of Tehran to celebrate the strong performance of their team against Argentina on Saturday. - 6/22/14

Call for Submissions: 2015 Nowruz Banner Contest

- Eligible designs will be considered as the central artwork featured on street banners that will proudly promote Farhang's 7th Annual Nowruz (Iranian New Year) Celebration at LACMA throughout prominent boulevards in Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley in March 2015. - 6/19/14

Call for Submissions: Nowruz Programming Proposals Now Being Accepted

- Farhang Foundation invites artists, writers, directors, and performers to join us in our efforts to create a dynamic and immersive theatrical experience in honor of Nowruz (Iranian New Year). - 6/18/14

Iran's Zoroastrians celebrate Persian roots

- CHAK CHAK, Iran -- Adherents of the Zoroastrian religion from around the world gathered at a mountain shrine in central Iran this week to celebrate their Persian roots, praying in remembrance of a princess who fled the seventh century Arab invasion. -AP - 6/16/14

'We Have Something In Common' -- Obama's Spiritual Adviser On Iran Trip

- Joel Hunter, a spiritual adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, recently spent about a week discussing religious tolerance with officials in Iran, a country often singled out by rights groups for its intolerance toward its religious minorities. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/7/14

Dispute Over Heaven Rages In Iran

- Twenty-five years after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's death, the clerical establishment ushered in by the Islamic republic's founding father is at odds over how far its influence on Iranians' lives should extend. The debate pits powerful, hard-line religious conservatives against Iran's relatively moderate president, Hassan Rohani. And at the center of the debate is heaven, and the path leading to it. -Golnaz Esfandiari, RFE - 6/5/14

Young Iranians 'claustrophobic' as culture is forced online but accessed in private

- Iran's youth talk of social isolation as they're forced to navigate a dual existence - in a closed society and the seemingly more open space on the web -Guardian - 6/3/14

Pioneer Women of Iran now available on Google Play Books

- "Pioneer Women of Iran" (Salar Zanan e Iran), authored by Mansoureh Pirnia, pictures the experience of Iranian women from pre-history up until the Islamic Revolution of 1979. "Pioneer Women of Iran" is the conclusion of 35 year experience and research, on Iranian women; the result of communication and correspondence with intellectual women as well, who have pioneered in the political and social arena of Iran. - 6/1/14

German Iranologist Heidemarie Koch honored in Tehran

- The Persian literary monthly Bokhara paid tribute to German Iranologist Heidemarie Koch, author of "Persepolis, Shiny Capital of the Persian Empire", during a ceremony at the Mahmud Afshar Foundation in Tehran on Thursday. - 5/31/14

Hooshang Seyhoun, Iranian Architect Dies at 93 in Vancouver

- Hooshang Seyhoun prominent Iranian architect passed away in Vancouver on May 27 at the age of 93. Seyhoun's work includes several monuments such as the Avicenna Mausoleum in Hamedan, Nader Shah Mausoleum in Mashhad and Omar Khayyam Mausoleum in Neyshapour. Seyhoun is also credited for many prominent buildings in Tehran and Ahvaz - 5/31/14

US religious leaders meet with major Iranian cleric in Qom

- The US delegation who met with Ayatollah Javadi Amoli included Dr. Joel Hunter, Dr. Barbara Skinner, Head of National Network of US-African Priests, Dr. James August Kovalevsky, Professor Anthony Destro, from Faculty of Washington Catholic University, and Dr. Alex Roy Medley, Head of National Council of US Churches. - 5/30/14

Singing Amy Winehouse in Tehran

- For decades, both before and after his 1979 revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini railed against "Westoxication"-the poisoning of Iran's Islamic society by Western culture. The new theocracy banned everything from music and dancing to modern art. -Robin Wright, New Yorker - 5/27/14

An Iranian Conservative's Guide to Suppressing YouTube Videos

- Friends, who among us has not been confronted by that irritating and morally corrosive internet video that both grates on the nerves and threatens to undermine everything that is good and decent in society? Are you interested in protecting others from being exposed to this filth? I'm here to help. Here's a step-by-step guide to keeping YouTube's dangerous grip off our beloved Islamic Republic -Derek Davison, LobeLog - 5/24/14

Art exhibit to review two centuries of Iranian culture of marriage

- An art exhibition, which will open at Tehran's Naqsh-e Jahan Gallery on Friday, will review the Iranian culture of marriage from the Qajar period (1783-1924) to the modern era. Eleven tableaus created by the combination of paintings by Pegah Vaalizadeh and copper works by Shahram Moslemi will be put on display at the exhibition entitled "Ashes on Lovers". - 5/15/14

Iran's Brain Drain Is the West's Gain

- Drawing on a cigarette in his flat in central Tehran, Araz Alipour can count on one hand the number of friends who stayed in Iran after college. "Easily 90 percent of them have gone overseas," the 29-year-old software developer says, reflecting on the flight of many of the nation's science and engineering students. "Of my 45 university classmates, maybe five remain." -Golnar Motevalli, Bloomberg - 5/9/14

Iran needs young population to make progress: Supreme Leader

- Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has said that Iran will not be able to make progress without a young population. Ayatollah Khamenei highlighted the importance of taking measures to encourage the people to make use of the services provided by midwives in order to help implement the major policy of increasing the country's population. - 5/6/14

Biographies of 1200 Iranian luminaries published in bilingual book

- A book containing the biographies of 1200 Iranian luminaries from ancient times to the modern era has been published in Persian and English in two volumes. Entitled "Persian Nobles", the book has been compiled by Ahmad Lorestani, publisher Asr-e Guyesh announced in a press release on Wednesday. - 5/2/14

Photos: "IRAN: Generation Post-Revolution"

- The Washington Post then referred to the Iranian youth as "couch rebels" who prefer to share photos of protests on Facebook rather than going on the street and protest for a better life. The unmet wish of liberal reforms and freedom has led the Iranian youth to organize their needs in a matchless underground scene. -Kaveh Rostamkhani - 4/29/14

Photos: 7 killed in bus accident on Tehran highway

- Seven passengers were killed and 10 injured when a bus overturned on Tehran's Azadegan highway. ISNA quotes the Tehran Traffic Police saying the accident occurred on Monday April 28 at 9 AM as the bus was trying to exit the highway. - 4/29/14

Tehran gallery asks male, female artists to paint their impressions of opposite gender

- Tehran's Shila Gallery has called upon a number of eminent Iranian male and female painters to express their impressions of the opposite gender by means of their works, which will be put on display in separate exhibitions entitles "In the Other's Eyes" . - 4/28/14

Ayatollah Tehrani's gift stirs global conversation on religious co-existence

- The ground-breaking gift of a senior Iranian cleric to the worldwide Baha'i community is beginning to stir a global conversation about religious co-existence and freedom of religion. The response comes after Ayatollah Tehrani bravely gave to the Baha'is of the world a calligraphic rendering of Baha'i sacred verses, along with a plea for religious "co-existence". - 4/26/14

Late American scholar's executor seeks opinion on burial

- The Chairman of the Great Islamic Encyclopedia, Kazem Mousavi Boroujerdi, has written to Iran's Supreme Leader to ask his opinion on the controversy that has brewed over American Iran scholar Richard Nelson Frye and his last wish to be buried in Isfahan. - 4/17/14

Fakhreddini says he is ready to restore Iran's National Orchestra

- Conductor Farhad Fakhreddini has said that he is ready to restore Iran's National Orchestra, which has almost been dismantled over the past five years. "I will keep my promise to the officials and will return to the stage in high spirits to save the National Orchestra," he told the Persian service of IRNA on Tuesday in his first comments he made after being appointed to the orchestra last week. - 4/17/14

Iranian institute organizes puppet show project to promote world peace

- Simorgh, a major Iranian company for theatrical productions, has organized a puppet show project, which plans to promote peace in the world. A group composed of Iranian, British, U.S., Canadian and Turkish thespians and puppeteers is scheduled to travel across the world to perform an antiwar play entitled "The Last Leaf" - 4/15/14

The Tomb of Persian Poet Attar in Neyshabur

- Happy Attar Day!: April 14 is National Attar Day in Iran. Abu Ḥamid bin Abu Bakr Ibrahim (c. 1145 - c. 1221), better known by his pen-names Farid ud-Din and Aṭṭar ("the perfumer"), was a Persian Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer from Neyshabur who had an immense and lasting influence on Persian poetry and Sufism. - 4/14/14

Iran's Culture Wars: Who's Winning These Days?

- In Iran, hardline critics are waging a campaign against President Hassan Rouhani to limit his campaign pledge of opening Iran to more social and cultural freedoms. The "culture wars" are as old as the Islamic revolution that swept conservative clerics to power more than three decades ago. -Deborah Amos, NPR - 4/13/14
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